Inner Mongolia (内蒙古, Nèi Měnggǔ or <templatestyles src=”Template:MongolUnicode/fonts.css” />ᠦᠪᠦᠷ ᠮᠤᠩᠭᠤᠯ, Öbür mongɣul in Mongolian) is a Mongol Autonomous Region in northern China, whereas Outer Mongolia is a separate country to the north of China. The region covers most of the northern edge of China, curving in a banana shape. To the north is the Republic of Mongolia and the north east tip of Inner Mongolia borders with Russia. The other borders of the region are with other Chinese provinces; going clockwise from the Northeast they are Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and Gansu.
The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has a land area of around 302 million acres, which is almost 12% of the total land area of the People’s Republic of China. The capital of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is Hohhot. According to the 2004 census, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has a population of around 25 million people.
The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is bordered by the Province of Heilongjiang, Jilin Province, Liaoning Province, Hebei Province, Shanxi Province, Shaanxi Province, Gansu Province and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Inner Mongolia also shares borders with Mongolia and Russia.
Inner Mongolia main cities are Hohhot which is the capital and as well cities such as Hulunbuir, Ordos, Tongliao, Ulanqab, Wuhai Baotou and Bayan Nur.
Inner Mongolia is a large region stretched across the northern edge of China. It has a relatively low population density the majority of which are Han Chinese. About 17% of the population is ethnic Mongolian. The region is officially an Autonomous Region for the Mongolian people within China. The east of Inner Mongolia consists of wide grass meadow lands, forests and mountains. The west of the region is made up of scorching hot dry deserts. Traditional Mongolian nomadic lifestyle can still be seen in the region and yurts (Mongolian tents) are not an uncommon site in the wide spaces between the cities. Despite the fact that ethnic Mongols form a minority in the region, the number of ethnic Mongols holding Chinese citizenship is almost twice the population of the independent country of Mongolia.
The main religion in the area practiced by the Mongol minority is Lamaist Buddhism, similar to that found in Tibet and the Republic of Mongolia. Lama temples are common throughout the region.
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) (酒泉卫星发射中心) is in Inner Mongolia and is the site of most of China’s rocket launches. It is in a remote area and not open to the public. (The city of Jiuquan lies over 100km away in the neighboring province of Gansu.)
Mongolian is co-official with Mandarin in the area. There are different dialects of both spoken throughout the region. The north east of the province speak with a Dongbei accent that is very similar to standard Mandarin Chinese. Central areas speak the Jin dialect of Chinese. The two dialects are mutually unintelligible. The official dialect of Mongolian is Chahar and is distinct from the dialect used in Outer Mongolia. The Mongolian language and population is primarily located in the northern and border regions of the province with the neighboring Republic of Mongolia to the north. Most ethnic Mongols are bilingual in Mongolian and Mandarin.
Writing on signs, menus and other documents are usually bilingual in Mongolian and Chinese. The Mongolian script here follows the traditional style (vertical), in contrast with the Republic of Mongolia which adopted the Cyrillic script due to previous Russian/Soviet influences.
Get in by plane
There are nine public airports in Inner Mongolia. Most only receive domestic flights so requiring foreign visitors to transfer at one of the major cities of China before reaching Inner Mongolia. There are international flights form Hohhot to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia run by MIAT Mongolian Airlines.
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|Hohhot Baita International Airport|
Many cities of Inner Mongolia are connected to the Chinese train network giving access to the region from neighbouring provinces. The Trans-Mongolian railway connects from Beijing via Datong in Shanxi province to the city of Jining in Inner Mongolia and north through Erlian, in north central Inner Mongolia, to Ulaanbaatar in Outer Mongolia and onwards to Siberia in Russia. The north Eastern end of Inner Mongolia is traversed by rail routes connecting Russian Siberia to Haerbin in Heilongjiang Province and through to the Russian Far East.
The central area of Inner mongolia is connected to a rail route that spans form Liaoning and Jilin provinces through Tongliao city in the east of Inner Mongolia, on across the Trans-Mongolian railway at Jining (Inner Mongolia), to Hohhot. Then the line runs westward again until Wuhai city where the route exits Inner Mongolia, running just south of the border in the neighbouring provinces before turning north again and terminating in Ejin Qi in Western Inner Mongolia. Several branches run off of this to other cities. The north east of Inner Mongolia is not connected directly to the other cities of Inner Mongolia but is crossed by railways originating in Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.
The international airport in Honhot has connections to the other eight airports in Inner Mongolia. All Inner Mongolian airports also connect to Beijing. Thus it is possible to travel from one end of the region to the other by air. However, the frequency of flights to these small airports is low.
History of Inner Mongolia
In the year 1206, Genghis Khan unified the Mongol tribes and his descendants conquered China in 1279.
Economy of Inner Mongolia
In Inner Mongolia, wheat farming is precedent along the river valleys. The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has large quantities of natural resources such as coal, natural gas, niobium, zirconium and beryllium. It is one of the most important coal mining industry in the north of the People’s Republic of China. The GDP for for Inner Mongolia was in 2007 about 600 billion yuan with a stunning annual growth rate of 19% but its per capita GDP is 25000 yuan annually. The real-estate market in capital city of Hohhot is picking up rapidly with new development of apartment buildings and huge officer towers been launched.
Culture of Inner Mongolia
A variety of dialects of the Mongolian language is spoken in Inner Mongolia such as Chahar, Ejin-Alxa and Barghu-Buryat dialects. The Minority races of China in Inner Mongolia Mongolia have their own languages and dialects. The Classic Mongol written script is still retained throughout the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region but cyrillic alphabet is used widely in Outer Mongolia. Ethnic Mongols are now very fluent in at least one Chinese dialects due to.
Touristic Attractions in Inner Mongolia
The Dazhao Temple in Hohhot which was built in 1580 is a must see tourist attractions. If you have sufficient times during your trip to Inner Mongolia, visit the Xiaozhao Temple that was built in 1697 or the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan in the city of Ordos.
- Wudangzhao Monastery – 70 km (43 mi) northeast of Baotou.
- Dazhao Temple – In Hohhot
- Xilituzhao Palace – In Hohhot.
- Zhaojun Tomb – beside the Da Hi River nine kilometers south of Hohhot.
- Wanbu Huayanjin Pagoda – In Hohhot.
- Xiaozhao Temple (also called Chongfu temple) – In Hohhot.
- Five-towers Temple (Wuta Si) – In Hohhot.
- Qingzhen Da Si Mosque – In Hohhot.
- Inner Mongolia Museum (内蒙古博物馆 Neimenggu Bowuguan) – The museum has over 44,000 items and is particularly noted for it’s dinosaur collection. In Hohhot.
- Mausoleum of Genghis Khan (成吉思汗陵) – Located within Ordos City. This isn’t the real site of Mongol Empire’s burial, but rather a shrine in his memory.
- Xilamuren Grassland – 90 kilometres (about 56 miles) north of Hohhot.
- Gegentala Grassland – Located in Siziwang Banner, 145 kilometres north of Hohhot.
- Huitengxile Grassland – 135 kilometres east of Hohhot, and 80 kilometers from the city of Jining.
- Bashang Grasslands – On the regions southern border near to Beijing.
- Badain Jaran Desert (巴丹吉林沙漠 Badanjilin Shamo) – Western Inner Mongolia and extending into neighbouring Gansu and Ningxia provinces.
- Tengger Desert (腾格里沙漠 Tenggeli Shamo) – Bordering with Ningxia Province.
- Kubuqi Desert – South of the Yellow river near to Baotou.
- Hexigten National Geopark – This is a UNESCO designated Geopark. It contains eight scenic areas: Arshihaty granite forest area, Qingshan granite mortar area, Dali Nur volcanic land form area, Huanggangliang Quaternary glacial vestige area, Reshuitang thermal spring area, Pingdingshan scenic Quaternary cirque group area, Xilamulun River valley area and Hunshandak sand land area. The geopark covers an area of 1750 km2. See Chifeng.
- Arxan National Geopark – South west of the Greater Hinggan Mountains in Xiang’an League.
- Alxa Desert National Geopark – In Alxa League (also known as Alashan League) of Western Inner Mongolia.
- Scenic Grasslands – Definitely plan on visiting a scenic grassland near Hohhot, Baotou, Erenhot, Ulanhot or Hailar where visitors may go for the Mongolian Experience, such as horseback riding, attending folk singing and dancing, and tasting roast whole lamb.
- Nadam Festival – Wrestling, horse racing and archery are the three traditional sports for Nadam (meaning entertainment or frolicking), the foremost traditional festival for Mongol nomads taking place in July or August.
- Mongol Homestay – Trying an authentic Mongol homestay, staying in a yurt in the grasslands. “Staying in a yurt” can mean almost anything in Inner Mongolia but if you do some research you will probably manage to find a nice one.
Traditional Mongolian food is found throughout Inner Mongolia. This is typically high in dairy produce such as milk, yoghurt and cheese. The traditional Mongolian milk tea is exceptionally good. Meats, especially lamb, form most meals. The meat is usually roasted with a coating of spices to give a strong distinctive flavour. Similar with many areas of China, the Hotpot is a popular style of cooking. Mongolian hotpot usually has a well flavoured soup but without the hot spices of central China.
Mongolian milk tea is distinctive to this region and frequently served in hotels along with breakfast. Some brands of Mongolian bottle water are known for their purity or special mineral content.
The ethnic Mongols in China generally share a common culture with their counterparts in Mongolia. The various respect tips in the Mongolia article generally apply to the ethnic Mongols in China as well.
It is possible to travel to the Republic of Mongolia, (Outer Mongolia) and Russia from here by both road and rail. There are good connections into the southern neighbouring provinces of China.
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